State Supreme Court to consider Ochsner vaccine mandates

November 18, 2021 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana’s Supreme Court will hear arguments next month on whether the state’s largest health care provider can require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Cases involving Ochsner Health employees in the Shreveport and Lafayette areas have been consolidated by the state’s highest court. A hearing is set for Dec. 7.

Shreveport Ochsner employees opposed to the vaccine requirement won a decision at the state’s 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal, which blocked the mandate last month. But in the Lafayette area, a state judge refused to block Ochsner’s requirement.

Government and employer mandates have drawn challenges in various state and federal courts.

Two groups of states have filed federal court lawsuits in Missouri and Louisiana challenging the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

The Louisiana-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals halted a broader Biden administration vaccine mandate that businesses with more than 100 workers require employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or wear masks and be tested weekly for COVID-19. The case that brought that ruling is one of 34 objections filed in 11 regional federal circuits plus the one for the District of Columbia. Since last Friday’s 5th Circuit ruling, the cases have been consolidated and transferred to the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.